The dietary preferences found in your social circle may not meet eye to eye, but don’t let that stop you from sitting down at the same table to break bread. Truth be told, you all have one thing in common: the desire to eat good food. Here are a few places where both sides can eat and coexist happily ever after.
2141 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
If Alice was vegan and the looking glass was Mohawk Bend, she’d enter a fantasy world where vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters dine in harmony under a single roof. The whimsy she’d feel to know that the kitchen only sources ingredients from California to create super seasonal fare. The awe she’d experience to see that all menu items (aside from a few exceptions) are vegan. It would bring a Cheshire cat smile to her face.
Mohawk Bend’s devotion to California also applies to their libations, paying tribute to our local distilleries, wineries and craft breweries. Additionally, barkeeps are given creative freedom to concoct something perfect for the season of the moment, such as the Garden Salad (TRU Organic Vodka, thyme, lemon juice, lime juice, fennel, cilantro, mint, cucumber, ginger beer) by bartender Mickey H.
Housed in an expansive space that was formerly a theater, there are several character-rich areas to enjoy. It’s the place you can come with friends no matter what their dietary preferences may be. Share a few tasty morsels like the Buffalo-style Cauliflower and the Salad Daze Pizza for starters.
Dr. J’s Vibrant Café
334 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
A vibrant addition has sprouted in the burgeoning landscape of Downtown LA and it offers a prescription of tasty food with benefits in a casual, friendly environment. Dr. Juliet Tien (Dr. J) grew up in Taiwan where she cooked for her family using healthy, clean ingredients, the kind healthy eaters inspired her to use. With recipes that follow strict principles (no sugar, dairy, wheat, yeast, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and chemicals), she successfully healed herself from infections and food allergies she had as a child; she also shed some pounds in the process. Her son, Charles, had a personal experience healing with food when Dr. J proposed that he try “her way” to treat his bout with arthritis. As a result, he never had to seek traditional medicine and today, he is the owner of Vibrant Café that is free of arthritic flare-ups.
At this café, people benefit from a lifetime of Dr. J’s experience helping her clients achieve health through good-tasting food. The 100% vegan menu is clean, organic and utilizes available, locally-grown ingredients, consisting of macrobiotic, gluten-free and Ayurvedic cooking with an Asian spin to it. Try the Brown Rice Medley Bowl for a satisfying lunch and finish with Dr. J’s Cleansing Balance Tea (containing more than 11 liver and kidney cleansing ingredients). For a quick pick-me-up, Dr. J’s Herbal Shakefusion (high-protein herbs, digestive enzymes) with an herbal enhancement packs a lot of post-workout punch. Sweet tooth? Check out the made-from-scratch sweets like the irresistibly guilt-free Carob Brownies or Banana “Ice Cream.” As they like to say, health is happiness, so come here and find your bliss.
Related: Best Vegan Restaurants In And Around LA
8284 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
This restaurant fuses the polish of fine dining with the cool vibe of a neighborhood hang out. It’s not the kind of restaurant that screams vegan from the top of its lungs. Rather, it prefers the approach from under. It surprises and delights with the creative ways in which their plant-based cuisine looks and tastes, making it the perfect place to dine with a friend who refuses to believe that vegan food can be flavorful.
When asked about items carnivores gravitate towards, Chef Tal Ronnen had this to say: “We designed a section on the menu called ‘Comforting Classics’ for those who might not be into a kale salad. Some of the most popular items featured in that section are our own take on lasagna (Wood-Fired Meaty Lasagna) and our Pappardelle Bolognese. Our version of ‘Crab Cakes’ and our Artichoke ‘Oysters’ also do very well.”
Crossroads offers inventive Mediterranean-themed small plates, salads, cocktails, and desserts. They also recently launched lunch service (available weekdays 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) to satisfy the vegan gourmand on the go. The menu is centered on Ronnen’s exclusive Kite Hill vegan cheese line, featuring sandwiches, salads and pastas, the perfect choices for filling summertime picnic baskets.
9671 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Clean, green, no fuss and no muss is the name of the game here at Greenleaf Chopshop. Come here to score quick, fresh and affordable salads, wraps, flatbread pizzas and sandwiches. Executive Chef Kristi Ritchey utilizes relationships with some of the best organic, local food purveyors. It’s no wonder why the produce is displayed proudly behind their sleek open-display kitchen. Who doesn’t love fresh, healthy, tasty and affordable, right? Since items can be made-to-order, each guest can create their version of a meal that best suits them.
The Wild Mushroom and Truffle Pizza is made with a special tortilla that makes for a dish that clocks in at an unbelievable 400 calories, making it an entrée that is out of this world. The Antioxidant Orchard Salad is chock full of nutritious goodies. Make it vegan by going sans cheese or add pan-roasted salmon for old-fashioned protein. No time to sit and chew? Try one of their cold-pressed juices like the popular Pina-Kale-Ada for quality nutrition on to move.
233 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills
It’s a restaurant. It’s a marketplace. It’s an espresso bar. It’s Modern Mediterranean in an equally modern space that appeals to plant and meat lovers alike. Momed is all about simplicity and an emphasis on seasonal and local produce as well as free-range proteins. The menu boasts items that are touched with flavorful spices and oils, with several vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free items to choose from. The deli-style format allows guests to order at the counter, making it a great place to arrange a power lunch meeting with your vegan client. Suggest the avocado hummus, falafels or the mushroom and hummus wrap. And for you, the Duck “Shawarma” will do just fine. Come for dinner sometime on a Monday night, when all Pide Flatbreads are just $10 and bottles of wine are 50 percent off.
Joy Bitonio has the phrase “Joie de Vivre” tattooed on her shoulder, a reminder to enjoy life every single day. She has a voracious appetite for fun, adventure, food, good cocktails and works out like a madwoman to keep it all together. Check out her other articles on CBS L.A. She also covers fitness on Examiner. Follow her on Twitter.